Wednesday, February 27, 2013

3 Is Going To Kill Me If 2.5 Doesn't First.

Some days I don't know how I'm going to make it out alive. Toddlerhood is not for the faint of heart, I know this for certain. One minute my 2.5 year old with pale blue eyes sparkling bright, is lovingly stroking my cheek with the palm of his hand telling me, "mama preedy. mama sweet" and the next minute I swear his head is about to spin while he squeezes shut his eyes so tightly and stomps and shouts at the top of his lungs because I won't let him stick his fingers up my nose. 

Now, I'm all about picking and choosing my battles with the tiny dictator but there are times, many times, where his demands are just plain unreasonable. Pretzels for breakfast? Fine, but eat some pancakes too. You want to drive your monster trucks up and down the baby? That's okay too, just not near his head. I'll even let you wear your Buzz Lightyear costumer to Walmart and/or bed.

But climbing the shelves of the pantry? Dumping the toy basket for the 33rd time after I said no? Removing every single cushion from the couch with your head and pushing it onto the floor for the 27th time because you know that makes mommy hold her breath and count to ten?

3 is going to kill me if 2.5 doesn't first. It is in those moments that I'm sure I'm not cut out to be the mother of a toddler. I think to myself, "surely I am doing something wrong."

Every age has its challenges. I've heard that it gets worse before it gets better. I've heard that it just gets plain worse. Moms have assured me that 3 is no picnic either but something has to give or else I'll be looking up exorcists in the local Yellow pages. 

I get it. The toddler is testing his limits, learning to express himself, struggling to come into his own. When he repeatedly asks for the "mopedy" and at the fourth request I hand him juice when he really means "remote" I can see how this might be frustrating.

It's more so the side eye and smirk he casts my way when I tell him not to do something, as he decides he's going to do it anyway. Or when he tells me to "go away now" with the wave of his hand, something we're guilty of saying to the dog all too often apparently, when he wants to do something he knows he's not allowed to do.

There are countless times throughout the day that I want to crumple to a ball on the floor right next to him and just scream and scream and scream until, well, until I decide I'm done screaming but let's face it, that doesn't do anybody any good. 

Give him choices. Make it a game. Give him less choices. Be creative in your parenting. Well, hot damn. It's not for lack of trying. Sometimes I just want to take the authors of these books and shake them into remembering what life is really like with a toddler. Unreasonable. Exhausting. It's living with a tiny dictator who throws his dinner on the floor with blatant disregard for your feelings.

While I appreciate each of those approaches to parenting a toddler, sometimes I just don't have time. Other times I don't want to give him two choices of clothing. Of snack. Of activity. I like to think that I'm teaching him that sometimes the world just plain old sucks and you just have to do as your mother says because she said so.

And sometimes I stomp my foot for good measure.

Sometimes I'm just one Google search short of looking up the nearest circus when he climbs into my lap, takes my face in his tiny dictator hands and plants a big wet kiss on my mouth. And it's in those moments that I am absolutely certain...

That 3 is going to kill me if 2.5 doesn't first.

33 comments :

  1. Oh girl, I am right there with you! It is so crazy how Noah can be all I love you momma one minute and then try to climb on top of my head with a death grip the next. But I've heard from sooo many ppl that boys get easier when they get a lil older, for both our sanity lets hope so!!!

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  2. Oh I feel you on this. And Carter SERIOUSLY says "go away now" to us all the time, and it makes ME want to hold my breath and count to ten as well. :) TODDLERS!!!! You captured it well in one post. Happy and sweet one minute, and belly-to-the-floor temper tantrum over fruit snacks at 5:08 a.m. the next. Oy.

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  3. I can definitely relate. My first (boy) was a golden child. He was perfect looking back. My daughter who isn't even quite 2 yet has me thinking I will admit myself to the mental hospital before her 2nd birthday just to get away from the madness some days bring! Oh the joys of mothering a toddler!

    Kate @ Raising the Rogers

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  4. Your post actually made me feel better about my 2.5 year old! I stomp my feet sometimes too. Her favorite thing to say, "You stop it." And not in a sweet, toddler voice either. :)

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  5. Hang in there. It get's better. Pinky promise.

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  6. Hang in there! With my first, 2.5 was really bad and 3 was a breeze. I think he got it out of the way early. With my second, she hit the Terrible 3s, not 2s. It does get better...until he gets to be 6. I'm going through everything you're feeling right now, multiplied by a thousand. But it will get better and you'll still get plenty of glimpses of that sweet boy of yours to help remind you he's not totally possessed by evil creatures!

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  7. God bless them. It's a good thing they are so stinking cute or we might not have so much patience!

    You're not alone sister.

    Keep being consistent! That's what these little boys need!

    You're doing a great job!

    xoxo

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  8. I'm not looking forward to those years. My son is only one, but I'm sure it is just right around the corner.

    At least I know I can come back here and laugh.

    Seriously, AP, thank you!

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  9. Our 3 year old got mad at us this morning because we told her she couldn't have ice cream and fruit snacks for breakfast. I know. Meanest parents ever.

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  10. Love your blog and this post! I could have written this post myself!

    You're not alone! We have three kids, two boys (4 and 2) and one girl (10 months). Every age brings challenges and I have had moments when I feel like I'm not cut out to be a parent at all. I remind myself that every parent has the same problems and doubts, even if they don't want to admit it :) No child is well behaved all the time, and they're not supposed to be.
    Hang in there! You're not alone. It actually makes me feel better hearing your experiences!

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  11. It's definitely terrible twos and troublesome threes! Four was like a breath of fresh air, which was quickly choked out by five, which is a lot like two, but with better vocabulary. That's why babies are so awesome, sweet, sweet babies!

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  12. we are in the beginning of 3's and I just want to bang my head against a cement wall all the freaking time. How did I forget this age? I mean I have a 13 year old and a 12 year old so its not like it was that long ago. But alas, I had forgotten. I pray every morning and try to remind myself that this is just a phase. this is just a phase. OVER AND OVER again! Good luck!

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  13. oh and Colton's new thing is saying "this is a bad day, you a bad mom" when I won't let him do what he is wanting to do. Isn't that sweet? I just remind him that I am a good mom and that I am sorry he thinks its a bad day but hopefully it will get better. LOL!

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  14. I keep waiting for the shoe to drop. Mine are just barely over 2 and so far they're not bad, but I've heard as 3 gets nearer it gets harder. One of mine does a big smile or smiles and looks back at us when he's about to do something he shouldn't. I know the shoe will drop eventually and it will be chaos.

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  15. Amen. Seriously. My daughter does things purposely, WAITING for me to react, then, when I give her the "Really??" look, she says, "I sowwy, Momma, hugs?" It's a roller coaster. But I think you're doing a great job!

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  16. Amen. Seriously. My daughter does things purposely, WAITING for me to react, then, when I give her the "Really??" look, she says, "I sowwy, Momma, hugs?" It's a roller coaster. But I think you're doing a great job!

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  17. He sound JUST like my Cooper. Classic, stubborn firstborn. And? Cooper is almost 5 and it hasn't gotten any easier. He even made his dad yell today, which takes a lot. I like to think I will be a saint someday for putting up with all of it. :)

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  18. Amen! Can totally relate. My oldest just turned 3 and now my 18 month old is becoming more and more defiant. It's like they feed off each other and see who can out do the other....I just keep telling myself that this stage won't last forever...and good thing they are so stinkin' cute!

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  19. Yes, yes, yes ... and yes some more. How does one have a "strategy" to parent a toddler when said toddler doesn't have any sort of consistency in likes/dislikes, wants/needs, attitude/personality from one moment to the next. Offering two choices works brilliantly ... 30 percent of the time. The other 70 percent of the time, he already knows what he wants and it's not the blue cup or the red cup you moron, I want a COOKIE.

    Also? The number of times I hear "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" in a day is enough to make me want to jump off a cliff. My mom always complains about people who ignore their kids in stores when they're saying "Mommy, mommy!" I not-so-calmly explained to her that sometimes it doesn't matter how many times you answer them, they will keep saying it and just MAYBE that mom had already heard "mommy!" 186 times that day, so LAY OFF OF HER.

    Ok, I feel a little better, thank you.

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  20. The 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 age is one of the reasons I'm only having two kids. When all else fails and I'm about to lose my shit, I send Emmy to her room, a time out for her and me. She has to stay there until we both calm down

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  21. Good lord...thank you for writing this!
    I needed to hear it!
    I'm going through the same thing right now (but w/ a 4 & 2-just about 5 and 3 year old).

    Probably the winter hibernation is taking it's toll on everyone and we need some warm weather to get outside an air out. I can't tell you how many times I picked up the same book, off the kitchen floor, right in the middle of where we all walk yesterday. I was 2 seconds from tossing it in the garbage so I wouldn't have to deal with it anymore, but knew, it would be another book or another toy tomorrow.

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  22. Oh my stars {yes, I say that and I don't know why exactly}!!! Sounds like we had a pretty similar day! I called my husband at lunch and at the end of our conversation, said "I have to go, your mini tyrant son just took off an apparently poopy diaper and threw it at Hanna (our dog)."

    I mean, but really....... some days I think you just have to resign to the fact that wine can help make it better. Right? Please tell me I'm right?

    Also worth noting - Jackson threw a completely full sippy cup at my head while sitting 2 feet from me this afternoon. NO SIR!!!!!!!!!! What in the sam hell is this kid doing????? Where did my baby go? And then, just like Carter, he's all cute and lovey and the cutest dang mini ever made. Gahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

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  23. 4 gets a little better but they seem the really perfect whining by then. I have a 2 1/2 year old too. I just keep hoping he snaps out of it faster than my daughter.

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  24. Sounds like you have a very challenging little boy, there. Sometimes the parenting books are stupid, because they act like their approach will work with every child. Well, nothing works with every child all the time.

    All I can say is "this too shall pass". This will change eventually. I always try to remind myself of that in the crappy stages.

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  25. Well, we're in it together. We tell our dogs to Hush Up! all the time. The other day my toddler told me to Hush Up when I was asking for kisses.

    That did not end well.

    Hang in there momma and buy stock in wine and stella.

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  26. I am pretty sure we just started teh terrible twos at my house and Andrew JUST turned 18 months! This is freaking me out because I could have written this post.

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  27. You captured exactly how I felt and still sometime feel with my now 5 year old daughter. Deep breathing and counting are a common thing here. But then I can't help laugh when she ask me if I'm having a fit like she does. Kids! They'll be the death of us. Great post.

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  28. My son is only 16 months and he is just beginning to throw temper tantrums when he doesn't get his way. :-(

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  29. I laughed so hard AP, because this is the story of my life, and I am actually working on a similar post. Haha.
    A couple of weeks ago I swore I was going to have a total mental breakdown by 9am. Giada was just screaming and kicking and fighting me like crazy as I was trying to change her dirty diaper. She just wanted to go run around as soon as I got that thing off her and get crap allover the walls. It was a shit storm quite literarily. I was covered in it. And yes, I ended up in tears at the end.
    Honest to goodness, toddlerhood needs to come with warning labels, benzodiazepines and booze.

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  30. Hahaha oh lordy, I feel ya, and we're not even at 1.5 years yet! The whole give them choices/fewer choices/make it a game/be creative. Sure, sometimes, but really, ain't nobody got time (or patience) fo that. If we need to do errands, that means we need to do them NOW not after 20 minutes of playing a fun game to get a flailing toddler stuffed into his carseat (seriously, why are the carseats so effing unwieldy?!).

    Don't even get me started on flailing diaper changes. I've said it once, I've said it a million times - WHY DON'T CHANGING TABLES COME WITH RESTRAINTS?

    I appreciate that you stomp. Makes me feel more normal about doing things like that! ;-)

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  31. Toddlerhood is rough! But it will get better...I promise you that. As he approaches 4, life will become so much easier! In the meantime? Hot baths. Hiding in the closet. Ear plugs. A loooong vacation.

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  32. oh toddlers........ yeah that's about all i have to say about that.

    gotta keep reminding myself she is NOT indeed out to get me. ;)

    also, i think getting down on the floor and screaming might actually help ;) both of you

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